The New England Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl champions, but the sky was falling the last time the Kansas City Chiefs were on the other sideline. Back in week 4 of 2014, the Chiefs demolished the Patriots with 41-14 victory and most claimed that the New England dynasty was over. Let's relive how the Pulpit handled that week.
There are absolutely no excuses. But it's still just one game. They probably aren't going to be the great team we thought they would be. But teams do bounce back from this kind of loss.
But that's the issue. The offensive line, the most important non-quarterback of the offense, is resorting to playing the least-bad players, instead of "this player has outplayed and deserves time." All the rotations are just hurting any cohesion the team wants to develop and just delaying any hope of progress.
While the offense was dysfunctional for different reasons (young receivers versus young offensive line), the team eventually pulled it all together and made a run in the playoffs. Don't count out this Patriots team so early in the season. This offense likely won't pull together before the midway point of the year, but if everyone stays healthy a strong back-nine isn't out of the realm of possibility.
I honestly think that the Patriots need to just pick some linemen and stick with it soon. I just can't help but think that five of the same crappy linemen out there consistently is better than five different crappy linemen swapping in and out all the time.
I have been writing these "Coping With Loss" articles since 2011. And in that time, I have written 12 of them. That means that the Patriots have only lost 12 times in my time here at Pats Pulpit - that's a pretty solid number. And usually, I never have a hard time coming up with five positives to take away from whenever the Patriots drop a game; after all, every team loses, and as long as you can build on those losses and get better week to week, everything should be fine.
But Alec, Tom Brady has been terrible! He's over the hill! He's lost his swagger! We need to trade him and start fresh with Jimmy Garoppolo before Brady's trade stock plummets even more!
Shut up, Hank. This has to be the most ridiculous thing you have ever said in all my years knowing you - and that includes 2009 when you wanted to bench Tommy B in favor of Brian Hoyer. You were probably the kind of kid who begged for a pet hamster for months and then didn't want it anymore the first time it got out of its cage and pooped on your bed. You probably spent your allowance on Nintendo controllers to replace the ones you broke every time you couldn't beat a level on a new game immediately.
Tom Brady can't shoulder the load. Not when there are defensive players in his face on a shockingly high number of plays, and not when he's clearly not playing to form. He was creating his own ghosts while facing a terrifcally called defensive game by Chiefs coordinator (and Rex Ryan disciple) Bob Sutton, and it's clear that he doesn't trust his offensive line. And he shouldn't.
So far, I've seen where we need to get a whole new offensive line, offensive line coach, offensive coordinator, quarterback, receivers, defense, and head coach. It makes sense. After all, the shelves are stocked at Wal-Mart with all of those things and they are still in their original packaging. It's just a matter of maxing out our credit cards and we're in business. Those who can see the sarcasm, please explain it to those that can't.
The soft zone coverage, in combination with the coaches not putting the team's pass rushers in the best situation to succeed, led to Alex Smith passing down the field, seemingly at will.
If you were the coach of the New England Patriots, what would you do to address their offensive struggles so far this year?
I'll leave that in the hands of the sports experts..wish I could phona (sic) friend on this one. Too bad Taylor (my football fan-expert bf) is at work.
Belichick openly and actively listened to the media and took a stand to defend his team. He didn't wait for the circus tents to break ground. Instead of a story that could have spiraled out of control, Belichick grabbed the story with both hands and killed it.
The Pulpit preached patience, offensive stability, and defensive adjustments. The Patriots adjusted on the fly (and followed some of our recommendations) and stormed their way to a Super Bowl. As long as New England stays away from zone coverage, they'll have a good chance of stuffing the Chiefs offense.